Saudi's Olayan issues $173m sukuk - sources

Group is one of the largest family-owned firms in kingdom, owns stake in Credit Suisse
Saudi money, Saudi currency, Saudi economy, Saudi finance, GCC currencies
By Reuters
Tue 26 Jun 2012 08:34 PM

Olayan Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, has concluded its maiden issue of an Islamic bond, or sukuk, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

It is one of a number of Saudi entities that have priced their first local currency sukuk this year as interest in the country's debt market grows on the back of high investor liquidity and a desire to diversify funding sources away from bank loans.

The firm, which has interests in manufacturing and services and has a multi-billion dollar portfolio of investments spread across major asset classes globally, priced the SR650m ($173.3m), five-year sukuk at 150 basis points over the Saudi interbank offered rate (SAIBOR), one of the sources said.

The privately-place transaction was around 2.5-times subscribed and was sold to investors including banks, private funds and insurance companies, the source added.

HSBC's Saudi Arabian unit and Riyad Capital, the investment bank arm of Riyad Bank, arranged the sukuk. Baker & McKenzie was legal advisor to the company on the deal, while Allen & Overy was the bank's legal advisor, the second source told The Brief, a Thomson Reuters publication.

Olayan Group is one of the largest family-owned firms in the kingdom and owns a sizeable stake in Swiss bank Credit Suisse . It also manufactures and distributes products in the Gulf Arab region for multinationals including Colgate-Palmolive Co and Kimberly Clark Corp.

Of the initial local currency sukuks priced by Saudi entities this year the largest was a SR15bn ($4bn) issue from the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) in January.

National Industrialization Co (Tasnee), a petrochemicals company, and dairy firm Almarai Co completed deals worth SR2bn and SR1bn in May and March respectively.

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